We had loaded the SUV up with everything - baby clothes, baby bottles, a bassinet, a swing, car seat, clothes for us for a month - we had it all. We were on our way to Austin to meet our son! It felt so strange, doing everything for the last time. We had enjoyed our last dinner out, savoring our steak and dessert. We had set up a pediatrician. We had seen our friends for the last time, amidst well-wishes and promises to pray for us everyday. We had walked out of our house for the last time without a child.
Absolutely nothing, even in hindsight, stands out as a sign the birthmother would change her mind 5 days before the scheduled c-section. We had chosen to name him Isaac Antonio, and we had to tell the adoption agency the name we had chosen so they could transcribe it upon all the legal documents we would be signing at the hospital. We had told only a few friends his name, preferring instead to announce it when we announced his arrival.
I'll never forget DH's reaction - he was driving, and we were about 3 and 1/2 hours from home, heading to see our family for the last time before we brought home our son. He just threw up his right hand and said, she's changed her mind. My heart pounded. We were in a lot of traffic during rush hour and we needed to pull over so he could finish talking with the social worker.
I ran through the rain to the Bible book store I had found on my phone. It felt both comforting and strange to be there. I had wanted out of the car as DH got all the details. My heart was breaking, and I didn't want to hear his breaking too.
I found a devotional book by a noted Christian author. I wasn't sure even then how much I would read it, if at all. But I needed to reach out to the only thing that made sense anymore - God and His love. I was tempted to grab the first book I saw and run to the register. I didn't want to be in public while I began to process these emotions, yet I was sure the book store would have something to offer me, like a Biblical bandaid.
I expected DH to come into the store and find me, but he did not. When I found our parked car, he was still on the phone. I knew that was bad news. I ran out to him anyway, headed to the truth at least. It was brutal truth, but my life was happening at that moment and I didn't want to miss it.
He filled me in - basically, the doctor's office had "accidentally" faxed the birthmother's medical records, which we did have the right to see, with some critical information to the adoption agency, namely that the birthmother said she was not placing the baby for adoption, and to not tell this to the adoption agency. We were paying her bills at that time, so it was to her advantage to do this. Of course, the social worker immediately called the doctor's office to confirm this information. We were driving that day with all our baby's things, and the social worker knew that.
At first HIPPA regulations prohibited them from confirming the information, but they did ultimately confirm that she did state this but "you didn't hear it from us". Attempts to contact the birthmother were unsuccessful after that time, even though the social worker HAD BEEN COMMUNICATING VIA TEXT WITH HER THAT DAY, TELLING HER WE WERE ON OUR WAY. At no time did she state any of this to the social worker.
Wow. F-ing wow.
So, telling our parents blew; it absolutely blew. Here it was, 4 days before Christmas, and we had to go in and say well, I'm sorry but the birthmother changed her mind, and you will not be having a grandson this Christmas. For my parents, this was their first grandchild, so it was especially devastating. I told myself there is no way I'm sleeping - it's gonna be a long f-ing night.
We texted all of our friends, and one by one started getting responses of shock, utter disbelief. We had told everyone at this point, and my husband had told all of his patients at his practice. I had earned FMLA leave off from work, and had told my boss and everyone at my workplace. We had purchased plane tickets back from Austin so DH could return to work while I stayed with the baby. Friends had been so generous and used their awards points to book us a hotel room for part of our stay, with the rest of our stay being at a friend's house, for over 2 WEEKS. It all just seemed to be falling into place, not perfectly, but happening nonetheless.
That's why our shock continued for some time after the news. We kept our former schedule, only instead of leaving for Austin 2 days later, we returned home. Home with all of the baby clothes, baby bottles, a bassinet, a swing, car seat, clothes for us for a month - all of it.
DH unloaded it while I went into the house. I knew that was gonna be TOUGH. There were so many triggers there, and while some I had anticipated, others I had forgotten about. Like the baby album DH had bought off my baby registry. I grabbed it and threw it into the nursery and slammed the door. The nursery door is still closed, with every single baby thing in the world completely filling it.
Yep, this from the birthmother who told us to our faces when we met, 'I will not break your heart' and 'when I decide to do something, I don't change my mind'. Over the course of the next week, we learned of several lies she had told us over time, indicating she had made this decision quite awhile before it was 'found out'. Wow.
So that's basically it in a nutshell. I would love to hear from some of you who have gone through failed adoption and come out on the other side. We would love to have some hope right now, but instead, we will let you have that for us.